When you pick golf clubs, you may be overwhelmed by how many things you have to take into consideration. The length of the shaft, the weight of the head, the grip, and many other smaller details combine to make clubs that are perfect for your golfing style. Perhaps the most important factor is that of the flex of the golf clubs that you are buying.
There are different flex ratings for different golf clubs, and choosing the right one can have a great positive effect on your game. It may be difficult to understand at first, but you should be able to pick a shaft with the perfect flex for you with no problem after you familiarize yourself with some of the basics of shaft flex.
The bend of a shaft is very subtle and imperceptible, and causes the greatest effect during your swing. The force and momentum of the club head cause a very small flex in the shaft. Depending on the material and production techniques used on your club, this flex can range from extremely stiff to fairly flexible.
If you aren't sure about the particular clubs that you have been using in the past, then you may consider asking a golfing expert to look at them and see if he can't discern it. If you can find out what you have been using previously, then you will have a much easier time switching to something new.
The four main flex ratings are L, R, S, and XS. These stand for Ladies, Regular, Senior, and Extra Stiff. Usually L, R, or S should work fine for the casual player, so it is a good idea to simply try out the golf clubs in the category you fit into. You will find more often than not that this level of flex is perfect for you.
However, if you don't feel comfortable with the clubs then you will probably want to delve into a more technical process of choosing your shaft flex. This is accomplished by closely analyzing your swing, and deciding from there what the best course of action is.
The speed of your swing is the biggest factor when you decide to get into the more technical side of shaft flex choice. It all depends on how you swing the club. The fastest swingers tend to stick with stiffer shafts - if your club travels like greased lightning, then the XS style shaft is probably the best choice for you.
If you tend to have a slower and more controlled swing, you can stick with R or even L. The letters are arbitrarily assigned based on data gathered on swinging habits, and if you are a man that needs a "Ladies" style shaft, there is no shame in sticking with what you need in order to play your best.
The material of the shaft can also affect the way that you swing it. Graphite and steel are the two materials that almost every golf club is made out of, and each of them is very distinct when you look at them from a flex viewpoint.
Steel clubs have a lower torque rating, which means that they will be useful more to one group of golfers than another. When you are faced with the choice of picking new golf clubs, it is a good idea to know which one you prefer so that you can choose the one that you will be most accustomed to.
Picking the flex level of a new set of golf clubs can be one of the hardest choices you will make, especially if you are new to golfing. But once you try out enough and get a feel for your personal needs, you will know it for the future. Every time you buy clubs from then on, you will know exactly what to choose, and you will always be able to stick with the same clubs. This allows you to really be constant in your game, and improve your skill.